Foods that are extensively handled during preparation and stored without refrigeration are often associated with staphylococcal food poisoning. This problem is more confounding when contaminating strains belong to the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) group. In this study, we investigated the survivability of MRSA in two seafood matrices under different storage conditions. MRSA was inoculated at 6 and 3 log CFU/g into all sample groups of peeled shrimp (Parapeneopsis stylifera) stored at −20°C, Bombay duck fish (Harpadon nehereus) stored in ice, and dried Bombay duck fish stored at 30 ± 2°C. The populations of MRSA in frozen peeled shrimp inoculated with MRSA at 6 log CFU/g were reduced by 1.52 log CFU/g, whereas in samples inoculated with 3 log CFU/g levels remained stable after 60 days of storage. In fresh Bombay duck fish inoculated with 6 log CFU/g and stored in ice for 18 days, MRSA levels decreased by 2.75 log CFU/g. In contrast, in fresh fish inoculated with 3 log CFU/g the total viable count increased by 3.02 log CFU/g over 16 days of ice storage. In dried fish stored at 30 ± 2°C, MRSA levels declined by 3.27 log CFU/g in samples inoculated with 6 log CFU/g and by 0.91 log CFU/g in samples inoculated with 3 log CFU/g. These results suggest that the survival of MRSA depends on the temperature of storage and the inoculum level. In our study, MRSA survival was higher when inoculated at 3 log CFU/g regardless of the seafood matrix and storage temperature.

  • MRSA survival differed depending on the seafood matrix and the inoculation level.

  • MRSA survival was greater at lower inoculation levels.

  • MRSA levels did not change significantly in peeled shrimp stored at −20°C for 60 days.

  • MRSA levels remained stable in ice-stored and dried fish inoculated at 3 log CFU/g.

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